The Lack Shelf is one of Ikea’s most popular shelving products. Available in three standard sizes, people adapt these simple shelves to do a variety of jobs. The Lack is also available in a few colors, however that has not limited anyone with other ideas in mind (Google painting a Lack Shelf). Because of the popularity of these shelves, other giant store chains now carry similar products. The biggest difference being the way in which the shelf gets mounted to the wall. This is extremely important, depending on what you plan to do with your shelf. Ikea’s larger Lack Shelves have one of the best strategies to deal with concealing hardware and creating a secure and strong connection (See this previous post).
Installation: What makes the Lack different from other types of cantilever shelving is the steel bracket that inserts into the back of the shelf. Although it might not look like it to anyone without experience installing things on walls, this is a pretty simple, and a much sturdier system than others. The most complicated part is mapping out where to drill into your wall, and making sure the points are level. You will want to give yourself some time to install correctly, it isn’t difficult, but it always works better when you don’t rush. Especially if you haven’t installed shelving before or if you have little helpers, like I always do. Overall I thought installing was pretty simple, and the result seemed very sturdy (for the recommended weight limit).
Use: After years of using our shelves, as well as removing and reinstalling in different homes, there has been no problems. We are careful not to exceed the recommended weight limits, so the interior particleboard has held up very well and is still a secure connection to the steel bracket. Also the ABS plastic laminate finish has held up better than I thought it would. This plastic laminate is not the most resilient, so if you drop or bang the shelf on something you can easily chip an edge or corner. Overall these shelves are a great solution for a cantilevered shelf system, and if you mind the weight limits and treat them nicely they should hold up for you really well.